PALM SPRINGS, Calif., Nov. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn Corporation have been named the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2011 Technology Award winners. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Of The Year is the country's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The award encourages entrepreneurial activity and recognizes leaders and visionaries who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment as they create and build world-class businesses.
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Hoffman and Weiner were recognized for their development of a social network aimed primarily for professionals, a goal not previously attempted. Hoffman's keen sense of timing and his shared commitment with Weiner to run a transparent business operation have helped LinkedIn become the massive success it is today. Hoffman and Weiner were honored at the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards gala, the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum® held in Palm Springs, California. The Forum is the nation's premier gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. Awards were given in nine additional categories. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges from approximately 300 regional award recipients.
"Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner have created an invaluable tool for business professionals around the world. Their keen insight into consumer needs and their ability to continually look for new opportunities for growth and expansion have made them deserving winners of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 Award in the Technology category," said Bryan Pearce, Americas Director, Entrepreneur Of The Year, Ernst & Young LLP.
Hoffman and Weiner also were named the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 Overall Award winners.
A perfect partnership
Hoffman first conceived of LinkedIn in 2003 when he recognized the need for a networking site that would connect the world's professionals and make them more productive and successful by giving them a venue to create a personal brand. Hoffman set out with the ambitious goal of attracting a minimum of 500,000 users. By 2008, 33 million people were using LinkedIn as a tool to create economic opportunities and build business relationships.
In order to take the company to the next level, Hoffman sought a CEO who shared his passion for improving people's professional lives and who recognized the tremendous growth opportunities for the networking site. Weiner joined LinkedIn as CEO in 2008 and has since helped grow the company to become the world's largest professional network on the internet. Currently, more than 100 million members in more than 200 countries use LinkedIn as a tool to transform their professional lives. Perhaps most importantly, Hoffman and Weiner deeply value their members and provide them with the utmost data security, recognizing that data is the driving force for the company's success.
Thousands of enterprises and professional organizations currently rely on LinkedIn's hiring and marketing solutions. Although LinkedIn has already made a significant impact on the day-to-day lives of professionals around the world, the company continues to expand rapidly, with the equivalent of one new member joining the site every second. Using their keen insight, Hoffman and Weiner have recognized the new opportunities for global expansion by leveraging evolving technologies and fostering viral member growth.
National Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 Technology finalists
In addition to Hoffman and Weiner, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Technology national finalists were: Chairman, CEO and Founder Syed Ali of Cavium, Inc., a San Jose, California-based provider of highly integrated semiconductor processors that enable intelligent networking, communications, storage, video and security applications; CEO Fred Luddy of Service-now.com, a San Diego, California-based company that helps organizations transform the way IT delivers business value to end users; and Chairman and CEO Steve Singh of Concur, a Redmond, Washington-based leading software provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions that enable businesses to automate and streamline the process for submitting and approving employee expense reports.
Video and photos
To view video clips of all of the Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners, please visit http://www.ey.com/US/en/About-us/Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneur-Of-The-Year
Photos of the winners are also available by request.
Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Program is pleased to have the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation as a national sponsor.
About Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Of The Year
Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 140 cities in 50 countries.
About Ernst & Young's Strategic Growth Markets practice
Ernst & Young LLP's Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) practice guides leading high-growth companies. Our multidisciplinary team of elite professionals provides perspective and advice to help our clients accelerate market leadership. SGM delivers assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to thousands of companies spanning all industries. Ernst & Young is the undisputed leader in taking companies public, advising key government agencies on the issues impacting high-growth companies and convening the experts who shape the business climate. For more information, please visit us at ey.com/us/strategicgrowthmarkets, or follow news on Twitter at @EY_Growth.
About Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 152,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.
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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a client-serving member firm of Ernst Young Global Limited operating in the US.
SOURCE Ernst & Young